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Pacquiao says Khan fight is a done deal for April 23

Amir Khan Manny Pacquiao


By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao says his team has come to terms with British boxing star Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) for a fight on April 23. Khan, 29, has also confirmed that that he’s agreed to terms with Pacquiao for April 23. It’s unclear how #2 WBO contender Jeff Horn is taking this information, because he and his promoters were hoping to face Pacquiao next.

The money that Pacquiao was going to get for the fight was reportedly not in the same ballpark as the $38M offer from the UAE. There’s no word from Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum about the Pacquiao-Khan fight today. Arum was previously working on a deal for Pacquiao to fight Horn on April 23 in Brisbane, Australia.

What’s not known is where exactly the Pacquiao-Khan fight will be taking place. There had been talk of a $38 million offer that was made from parties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to stage the fight in that country. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum sounded skeptical whether the offer was a legitimate one. But with Pacquiao and Khan saying that the fight is a done deal for April 23, then it’s possible the offer did come through for them.

”My team and I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight #Pacquiao-khan #April 23rd,” said Khan on his Twitter tonight.

This is a great fight. Khan and Pacquiao should have fought each other last year when the two of them were interested in facing each other. Instead of Pacquiao fighting Khan, he got stuck facing Tim Bradley in a third fight between them. The boxing public wasn’t interested in seeing an unneeded third fight between them, as Pacquiao had already beaten Bradley in the second fight. A third fight just appeared to be a money grab between Pacquiao and Bradley. But it’s good that the Pacquiao-Khan fight is taking place now. As the saying goes, it’s better late than never.

”Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #Pacquiao-Khan,” said Pacquiao.

Wherever the Pacquiao vs. Khan fight takes place, it’s going to be a great match-up for the boxing public. I rate the fight as a FAR better fight than the Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn fight that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum wanted to put together. I still don’t know why Arum wanted to make that fight together. That would have had a lot of boxing fans in the U.S and worldwide wondering who Jeff Horn is, and why Pacquiao chose this fight rather than facing a bigger name.

It’s a fight that would make sense if it took place earlier in his career before he got popular. But with Pacquiao nearing retirement, it’s a waste of time for him to be fighting guys that are just starting their careers. That fight would put Pacquiao in the position as a stepping stone to make Horn a big name. Why do that if you’re Pacquiao?

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If Arum wants to turn Jeff Horn into a star, he should throw him to Terence Crawford or Tim Bradley. I’m not how either of them would receive the offer from Arum. I can’t imagine Bradley being too enthused in fighting Horn. Crawford wouldn’t have any reason to fight Horn, because he’s technically still a light welterweight, even though he’s rehydrating to close to 160 lbs. for his fights in in the 140lb division.

Khan was knocked out in the 6th round by Saul Canelo Alvarez last May on HBO PPV. It was brave of Khan to take on Canelo, because this guy rehydrates into the 170s for his fights and maybe even the 180s. There’s no shame in Khan losing to someone as big as Canelo. The Mexican fighter should be facing guys his own size from the middleweight division like Gennady Golovkin at this point in his pro career.

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IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn were interested in facing Khan next, but he told them that he wanted them to defend against Errol Spence Jr. That’s a reasonable request on Khan’s part. Khan also said he wanted a tune-up to test out his surgically repaired right hand. But you can understand why Khan would have a change of plans. Pacquiao is a special case. That’s not a fight that will always be there for Pacquiao like the Brook fight. Khan made the right decision to take the fight with Pacquiao instead of his tune-up fight. It’s a big payday for Khan, and also a fight that will help him carve his legacy no matter what happens.

Pacquiao vs. Khan is a big enough fight to make it on HBO PPV. I cannot see HBO passing up a fight like this like they did with Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas last September. That was a bad fight that offered little interest for many boxing fans. I still don’t understand why the 85-year-old Arum made that fight.

Pacquiao’s last two fights against Bradley and Vargas make little sense. I wouldn’t have made either of those fights if I was Pacquiao’s promoter. I’d have matched him against popular fighters that he hasn’t faced before. Bradley is fairly popular, but already fought him twice. Putting Pacquiao back in with Bradley instead of Khan seems like a dumb idea. I thought it a stupid move when it happened, and I still think it was weird move to make. I’mnot sure how many buys a fight between Pacquiao and Khan will make, but I think it’ll do a lot better than Pacquiao’s last two fights against Vargas and Bradley that’s for sure. I also think Pacquiao-Khan does worlds better than Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn. What a bad fight that would be.

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